Thursday, November 18, 2004
I won't mention the client of course, but this reminds me of a story about a certain business - technology liaison type who was a touch excitable. They were having horrid performance problems with a key application in their workflow (this was a legacy thing and it really can't be integrated into any sort of modern system) and they were convinced that it was network problems due to some of the symptoms they were seeing. I took a look at the network, and other than some dope putting a Cisco switch in an unlocked closet with no bezels on the open slots (you should've seen the dust in that thing) there was nothing hugely wrong other than a boatload of legacy IPX traffic. Since the IPX traffic was from apps that were going to go away soon, I didn't see any huge need to get excited over that. A quick dig into Sniffer traces confirmed my suspicions that it was a brain-dead application just constantly retrying (the developers basically assumed that this would be used by only a small set of users and as such didn't put a lot of thought into the locking/retry strategy). The excitable one hung on every word we said throughout the whole exercise, and if I said something benign along the lines of "That's interesting" he'd be screaming "What's wrong?". The ultimate recommendation was to fix the application, but in order to write the report, we had to wait for input from a team member who was based somewhere in the sticks and who had other responsibilities. Accordingly, I mentioned this to the excitable one and said we'd have it to him sometime on a certain morning. I received the missing input late the night before, quickly reviewed it and pasted it into the Word doc, and created a PDF just in case on removable media. I planned to get into the office early to accommodate the excitable one, and managed to get into midtown well before eight. As I was waiting for the elevator in my building's lobby my cell phone went off, and sure enough it was the excitable one demanding his deliverable (mind you that this was still well before eight) and screaming bloody murder about it. Even though it was to be forthcoming within a matter of minutes, he was using every four, seven and twelve letter word in the book about it. By the time he finished screaming, it had popped up in his inbox. He promptly calmed down. Last I head, said report gathered dust, as App Dev didn't want to touch the code.